Travelers, vanlifers, and digital nomads are bouncing around the globe once again. Chances are high that you have someone in your life who is living that lifestyle, or wants to embark on long-term travel, begin a digital nomad lifestyle, or set off on a van-life adventure.
If you need help coming up with a gift for them this year, keep reading. I will have five unique gifts for the travel lover, and each one has a unique health and wellness spin to it!
I have lived out of a backpack for months at a time at several different points in my life, so I know a thing or two about what travels well and what really isn’t worth it…
First up, what NOT to give the traveler, van-lifer, or digital nomad in your life!
What Not To Gift A Traveler, Van-Lifer, Or Digital Nomad
So many of the gift lifts for travel lovers out there focus on trinkets. These are not ideal gifts when space in the suitcase, backpack, or van is at a premium.
I’m also always surprised to see home decor listed on gift lists for people who love to travel. Home decor, like maps and prints of city skylines, are great if you travel for a five day trip and then return to your home where you spend the majority of your time.
But long-term travelers, digital nomads, and van-lifers usually don’t have a place for these kinds of gifts. Besides, there are better gifts you should give to someone living on the road for long stretches at a time. Let’s get to those now!
Top Five Gifts For A Traveler, Van-Lifer, Or Digital Nomad
1. Earth Breeze Eco Laundry Sheets
You might not think giving a gift that says “I’m thinking of you and your laundry” is a great idea, but hang on just a second.
People who don’t live on the road might not realize that there are some daily life chores that need to be done in a different way when you’re living out of a suitcase or backpack. Nobody wants to give up valuable packing space to a big plastic tub of laundry detergent.
This is where Earth Breeze Eco Laundry Sheets come in. Mindy is a travel blogger who lives out of her suitcase as she wanders the US (she goes by @wandertobreathe on instagram) said that these laundry sheets have been a real game-changer for her. “I totally think they work better than regular detergent,” she said.
Earth Breeze Eco Sheets are concentrated, pre-measured, and low-sudsing laundry detergent that dissolve within seconds in hot or cold water. They work in all machines, HE included. The company says you can even hand wash with Eco Sheets. And just look at how tiny the box is that they come in.
Earth Breeze Eco Laundry Sheets are a better, cleaner (pun intended) way for a long-term traveler to do their laundry.
2. Fit For Real Life Lotion Bars
Travelers don’t stop wanting moisturized skin just because they’re traveling. But it’s a hassle to pack your favorite lotions into travel size bags, and the bottles tend to take up an awkward amount of space in your bag. Then, you need to hope they don’t explode into a goopy mess while you’re en route.
On top of that, if you’ve ever left your bottle of hand lotion in a hot car or somewhere that got very warm, you know that the lotion gets thin, runny, and usually makes a mess when you go to use it.
There is a much better way. The Fit For Real Life Lotion Bar is a deeply moisturizing lotion that comes in solid form. It stays solid until you hold it in your hands for a moment, then just the right amount of lotion will come off on your hands. And if you run it across your body, just enough will come off to allow you to then massage it in.
Because it’s solid and sits nestled in its own little tin, you can take the Lotion Bar when you fly, and it fits into a small pocket in your bag or purse. The Fit For Real Life Lotion Bars are hand-crafted with good-for-you ingredients, including beeswax, that is a humectant. This means that it actually holds more moisture in your skin, so you can go longer between applying it. They come in three unique, natural, seasonal scents, that are toxic free.
Fit For Real Life Lotion Bars are a better-for-you way to moisturize your skin.
3. Nanopresso Portable Espresso Machine
Part of the fun of traveling is finding cool, local coffee shops. But people often forget that digital nomads still need to work while traveling, and there are definitely going to be times when a traveler needs to hop right into work in the morning. Enter the Nanopresso Portable Espresso Machine.
For the coffee and espresso enthusiast who loves to travel, this is a no-brainer gift. The Nanopresso is a hand-held espresso maker that works by pumping pressure into the hand-held canister using a push button on the side, which then forces the water through the espresso grounds.
You pump the espresso right into your cup and wa-la! Espresso! If you can squeeze a tennis ball, you can make espresso with the Nanopress0.
4. BlendJet Portable Blender
Sticking with the breakfast theme, the BlendJet portable blender ensures the traveler in your life can always get a good breakfast without wasting space in their luggage.
Home blenders tend to be bulky and require a wall outlet for you to plug into. The BlendJet portable blender solves both these problems by being lightweight, slim, and it works without plugging it in!
How does it do this? The BlendJet works more like your phone in that you charge it via a USB-C adapter, and it holds the power so anytime you need to blend something, it’s ready to go.
The company says that the BlendJet hold enough power for 15 or more blends, and it can blend up anything in 2o seconds flat. Travel blogger, Mindy, shared that she’s taken it with her on all her trips and “it’s been great for breakfast smoothies,” which, by the way, they also sell sachets of ready-to-blend protein smoothies and lattes!
5. The Minaal Carry On Bag 3.0
While there are many travel bags on the market today, none compare to the OG of travel bag companies, Minaal. These folks were the first to solve the problem of luggage and digital nomadism, namely that a digital nomad needs to fit everything in one bag, needs their bag with them to work while in-flight, and doesn’t want to have to pay extra fees for bags.
The solution? Create a bag that can hold your computer safely and three months worth of essentials, all while looking unassuming, because nobody really wants to stand out as “that clueless traveler with a huge colorful backpack.”
The Minaal can be stuffed full and still fit under an airline seat. That means your favorite traveler can take this bag onto the plane, stow it easily under the seat in front of them, and hop right off the plane when it lands. No waiting around for overhead compartments or luggage carousels.
It can be worn as a backpack which is the most comfortable backpack I’ve ever worn, or as a shoulder bag, and it can be carried like a suitcase. It has well-thought-out compartments that magically hold far more than you’d expect them to.
I bought my Minaal Carry On in 2014 and I still use it to this day for all manner of travel. I’ve taken it on a long weekend desert climbing trip and have used it as my only bag for three months of living in Colombia. Eight years later and it hasn’t sustained any sort of wear-down yet, so know that when you give this gift, you’re giving something your digital nomad will use for years.
I hope this blog has helped you find the perfect gift for the traveler, vanlifer, or digital nomad in your life. And if you are a long-term traveler, share this blog on your social media with a little “hint, hint” to all your loved ones!